The recipe and photography for this post was provided by Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.
Ring in the New Year with a fun twist on the classic pork and sauerkraut combo! These Sausage and Sauerkraut Balls can be served as a main dish alongside a simple green salad, or as part of an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre spread.
They’re packed with savory ingredients like seasoned sausage, sauerkraut and stone ground mustard, then pan fried to crispy perfection. If you’re not a fan of frying, I’ve included instructions for baking these in the oven. I also recommend serving these alongside your favorite mustard for dipping.
- 20 Balls
- 1 lb. mild pork sausage
- ½ cup onion, finely chopped
- 24 oz. jar of Heinen’s Sauerkraut (refrigerated)
- 1 Tbsp. stone ground mustard
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups plain panko breadcrumbs, divided
- Salt and black pepper
- ½ cup flour
- 1-2 eggs, beaten
- Light olive oil or avocado oil
- Mustard of choice, for dipping
- Brown the sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to break it apart. Stir in the onion and continue to cook for 5 more minutes, or until onions are soft. Set aside.
- Drain the sauerkraut through a fine mesh strainer to remove as much liquid as possible; transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked sausage and onion into the mixing bowl, then stir to combine.
- Fold in the mustard and garlic powder followed by the cream cheese and ¼ cup of the panko. Mix until very well combined, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Using your hands, shape the mixture into 20 2-inch balls and transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 60 minutes.
- Create a dredging station by placing the flour, beaten egg and remaining panko in three separate shallow bowls. Dredge each ball in the flour, followed by the egg, then the panko.
- Set a large nonstick pan over medium heat and add enough oil to just barely coat the bottom. Once hot (the oil will shimmer), add breaded balls in a single layer, making sure not to crowd the pan. Work in batches, if necessary. Pan fry for about 8 minutes, rotating every couple of minutes to brown evenly on most sides. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Baked option: Bake breaded sausage and sauerkraut balls at 400˚F on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 20 minutes. They will be lighter in color and less crispy than the pan fried option.
- Serve alongside mustard for dipping.